ORLANDO, Fla. - Central Florida junior Kevin Smith has run through 13 teams for 2,448 yards this season. Now all that stands in his way is a Hall of Fame rusher who hasn't played college ball in 19 years.
Smith had 284 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday as Central Florida beat Tulsa 44-25 for the Conference USA championship. He moved into second place behind Barry Sanders on the NCAA's single-season rushing list, and still has one game left, UCF's Dec. 29 Liberty Bowl appearance.
As he had all year, the 6-foot-1, 211-pound junior downplayed his gaudy numbers.
'I'm expected to be back there and make the right cut at the right time,' Smith said. 'You can't run up the sideline without a hole. My guys gave it to me, and I tried not to let them down.'
Then, perhaps his biggest understatement: 'Coach gives me the ball a lot.'
Smith on Saturday also set the NCAA all-time single-season record in season rushing attempts with 415, 12 more than Marcus Allen had at USC in 1981. Allen had been ahead of Smith in season rushing yardage, but the junior passed him with a six-yard carry in the third quarter. Smith had 24 carries for 161 yards at halftime, and piled up even more with a 74-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
'I have coached in the BCS, and I can guarantee you that he is as good as anybody in the country,' Tulsa coach Todd Graham said. 'No question about it.'
Three Rockdale County products were part of UCF's championship team - Heritage grad Chance Johnson and Salem grads Torrell Johnson and Jayson Williams.
No. 6 Virginia Tech 30, No. 12 Boston College 16
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Virginia Tech's two-quarterback system worked to perfection on one drive, just enough to get the Hokies to the Orange Bowl.
Sean Glennon threw three touchdown passes, Tech's defense finally stopped Matt Ryan and the sixth-ranked Hokies beat No. 12 Boston College 30-16 in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game Saturday.
Ryan overshadowed Glennon and Tyrod Taylor most of the game, but the Tech duo put together a game-winning drive that showed exactly why the coaching staff decided to play both of them.
Taylor gained 31 yards on a quarterback draw, then Glennon capped an 84-yard drive with a 24-yard strike to Eddie Royal with 7:12 remaining.
The Hokies' defense did the rest.
Vince Hall intercepted Ryan's fourth-down, desperation pass near the goal line with 2:16 to play. The Eagles (10-3) forced a punt, but Ryan threw another pick. Xavier Adibi returned it 40 yards for a score with 11 seconds to play.
Oranges flew on the field as the Hokies (11-2) celebrated their fifth consecutive victory and their first win in two trips to the ACC title game.
Glennon was named the game's Most Valuable Player after finishing 18 of 27 for 174 yards with the three touchdowns and an interception.
No. 8 USC 24, UCLA 7
LOS ANGELES - Southern California is Rose Bowl-bound again thanks to another late-season surge capped by a convincing victory over its biggest rival.
UCLA, meanwhile, might soon be making a coaching change.
John David Booty passed for 206 yards and one touchdown, USC rushed for another 231 yards, and the Trojans beat the Bruins 24-7 Saturday to assure themselves a date in Pasadena on New Year's Day.
The Trojans (10-2, 7-2 Pac-10) won their final four regular-season games to earn an unprecedented sixth consecutive conference championship. It also gives them their third consecutive Rose Bowl berth and a sixth appearance in a BCS bowl.
USC has a 25-1 record in regular-season games played in November and December since coach Pete Carroll was hired in 2001. The only loss was a 13-9 setback to UCLA last year, snapping the Trojans' seven-game winning streak against their crosstown rivals.
The Trojans certainly gained a measure of revenge in this game - their fifth straight triumph over UCLA at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where they've won 38 of their last 39 games. USC has outscored the Bruins 181-55 in those five games.
This could have been the last game for the Trojans at the Coliseum, their home since 1923. USC's latest lease has expired, and frustrated by a lack of progress in negotiations for a long-term deal, the university has been negotiating with Rose Bowl officials to play there next season.
Navy 38, Army 3
BALTIMORE - A milestone afternoon for Navy ended with the sweetest accomplishment of all: an unprecedented sixth straight win over Army.
Reggie Campbell had a school-record 98-yard kickoff return, and Navy defeated mistake-prone Army 38-3 Saturday to put a lopsided slant on college football's biggest rivalry.
The Midshipmen improved to 52-49-7 against Army, their biggest lead in a series that began in 1890. No team had ever won six in a row, though the Black Knights once registered eight successive wins around a pair of ties.
Navy (8-4), which earlier this year ended a 44-game losing streak to Notre Dame, capped a memorable regular season with another blowout against Army (3-9). The Midshipmen have outscored the Black Knights by 169 points during their six-game streak.
Campbell accounted for 227 yards, including 73 on punt returns, and scored two touchdowns. His 12-yard run made it 31-3 with 10:18 left.
Although Navy's potent offense was limited to a 294 yards, the Midshipmen set a school record for points in a season (479), breaking the mark of 442 set in 1917.
Central Michigan 35, Miami (Ohio) 10
DETROIT - Dan LeFevour wasn't happy with his passing Saturday afternoon.
No one else seemed to mind.
The Central Michigan quarterback ran for 170 yards and threw for 185, helping the Chippewas win their second straight Mid-American Conference championship game 35-10 over Miami.
'Dan did a great job running the ball, and that finally opened up the throwing game,' first-year Central Michigan coach Butch Jones said.
LeFevour ran for two scores and threw for another, giving him 41 touchdowns - 17 rushing, 23 passing and one receiving - this season. The sophomore became only the second MAC quarterback to win back-to-back championship games, joining Chad Pennington, who won three in a row with Marshall from 1997-99.
'This feels great, but I don't think I held up my end of the bargain,' he said. 'I ran pretty well, but give this one to our defense. They kept us in the game.'
LeFevour has 1,008 yards rushing and 3,360 yards passing this season, joining Vince Young (Texas, 2005) as the only members of the 1,000-3,000 club in Football Bowl Subdivision history.
'That's quite an accomplishment, but I think most of the credit goes to my offensive line,' LeFevour said. 'There have been a lot of big runs this season where no one has touched me.'